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Rep. Tom Emmer Introduces Firearm Due Process Protection Act

Friday, April 22, 2016

Rep. Tom Emmer Introduces Firearm Due Process Protection Act

On Tuesday, Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN) introduced H.R. 4980, the Firearm Due Process Protection Act. This legislation is meant to ensure that eligible firearms purchasers are not arbitrarily denied their right to obtain firearms. The Act would afford those who are denied a firearm purchase by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) an effective and expeditious means of correcting any misinformation that would erroneously cause such a result.

In January, we reported on the alarming news that the FBI had “temporarily” suspended work on processing appeals of denials issued by NICS. The backlog of pending appeals at the time stood at 7,100. As we noted in that article, FBI data from 2014 showed that some 5% of the denials rendered by NICS that year were later overturned on appeal, meaning 4,411 people who had initially been erroneously denied were later able to vindicate their rights.

Of course not every person who is wrongfully denied will necessarily wade through the considerable bureaucracy necessary to challenge that decision. And the FBI’s figures account only for NICS checks processed directly by the FBI and not by the 21 states that handle some or all of the firearm purchase background checks for their jurisdictions.  Thus, the actual number of wrongful denials is undoubtedly much higher.

Current law does provide for an appeal process, but it does not establish deadlines for action on appeals or provide consequences for the FBI’s failure to act on them. Even before the FBI stopped processing NICS appeals altogether, the turnaround time for a decision could stretch from several months to more than a year. 

Rep. Emmers bill would address these problems in several ways. First, it would require the government to make a final determination on an appeal within 60 days after it received information in support of the claim. If the matter was not resolved within this timeframe, the individual would have the right to bring an action in federal court for a declaratory judgment on the person’s eligibility to receive and possess a firearm; a hearing would have to be held within 30 days after the action is brought.

If the government cannot establish the individual’s ineligibility at the hearing, the court would be required to issue an order for the government to correct or remove the erroneous records of NICS within five business days and to award the individual attorney’s fees and costs for the action.

Due process is a fundamental pillar of the American constitutional system. The purpose of Rep. Emmer’s bill is not to weaken NICS but to ensure that it functions as intended, blocking only legally prohibited individuals and not those who are misidentified or the victim of other bureaucratic mistakes.

As Rep. Emmer stated in introducing the bill, “Two months is a reasonable amount of time to run a background check and correct false information. Above all, citizens must always have recourse when denied a fundamental right.”

The NRA commends Rep. Emmer’s leadership in this important effort and urges swift consideration of the bill by the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Friday, December 9, 2016

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

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California: Bullet Button Guns Must be Purchased and Received by Dec 31st

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

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Recently the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms sent out a notice to California firearms dealers with information regarding the recently passed “assault weapon” legislation, SB880 and AB 1135.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

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Friday, July 1, 2016

California Governor Signs Draconian Gun Control Package into Law

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Hawaii: Firearms Permit Application Fee Increases Due to Implementation of the “Rap Back” System

Monday, December 5, 2016

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Today, December 5, 2016, the Honolulu Police Department announced that the firearm permit application fee has increased to $42.00.  This fee increase is one of the first effects of the provisions in Senate Bill 2954 which was signed into ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

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A while back, we wrote about an inane NBC Today Show segment that recommended homeowners rely on car keys and wasp spray to defend themselves against burglars and other home invaders. A former New York ...

DNC Chair Frontrunner Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is an Anti-Second Amendment Radical

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.